Coronavirus and Chill: Where to Get Your Cultural Fixes During Quarantine


A national lockdown might mean that we’re all stuck at home with not much to do, but luckily there are a few ways other than binge watching Netflix all day that are helping us keep entertained. National Theatre is coming to our rescue. Although theatres and cinemas might be shut, they are streaming many of their productions on their YouTube channel from the 2nd of April, leaving you plenty of time to binge all of their productions. National Theatre are staggering their streams, with one production going up a week until the 30th of April.

The productions streaming include One Man, Two Guvnors, starring James Corden in a role that netted him a Tony, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This comes as National Theatre confirmed that live performances won’t be able to restart until July at least, and cinemas won’t be able to reopen until around then either.

Along with National Theatre, the BBC announced that they would be streaming theatre and dance performances on BBC iPlayer, including Albion by Mie Bartlett and Wise Children by Emma Rice. They also gathered a selection of shows that are streaming online, which include a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin and the musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows to name two. Head to the Culture in Quarantine page of the BBC to find more performances to immerse yourself into!

BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds also have truckloads of cultural content ready to download at a moments notice. Podcasts about poetry, audio drama, shows on inspiring women such as Greta Thunberg, discussions about artists such as Aubrey Beardsley – there’s no shortage of interesting information completely free on the BBC.

It’s not just theatres who are putting their content online – museums and galleries are running virtual tours throughout their exhibitions, so you can see incredible artefacts without leaving your couch! National Museums Liverpool have several online exhibitions, including Dinosaurs and the Natural World, World Cultures, and Challenging Histories. You can wander around these exhibits at leisure, clicking on displays that interest you and watching the videos included.

The Tate Modern is also offering online displays of their artwork, including a tour of their Andy Warhol exhibition, offering articles about the artists life and even a how-to video on how to create your own Warhol piece at home. They are also gearing up to launch an online exhibition on Victorian artist Aubrey Beardsley, featuring 200 of his works. There are also online displays for you to browse on their website, filled with interesting pieces from prominent artists and collections about media networks and materials and objects. This is perfect for if you’ve always wanted to go to the Tate and just simply haven’t had the time – now you can browse without even having to stand up!

In such a challenging time, it is refreshing to know that there are alternatives to just taking your brain out and watching Friends for the 17th time. Now that many of us have a lot of time on our hands, these cultural events streamed directly to our phones and computers and fantastic to get immersed into, and help us to take our minds off the current situation of the world.

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